Despondent --- Ex in a new relationship, need advice


#1

Hello,

I would be grateful for some advice / spiritual direction.

I'm a single woman in her mid-thirties. I've been praying and searching for a partner for fifteen years. I have wonderful friends and have tried to live patiently as a single person. I took to heart the advice that you cannot pin all your happiness on one person, and filled my life with spiritual and creative pursuits. I tried my best to trust God and rely on his plan for me---though as I hit my late twenties, then early thirties, with no romantic success it became harder and harder. In 2010, I finally started dating someone. I was cautious at first, as I didn't want to get my heart broken, but for eight months things went well and I fell in love with this man. He never pressured me to do anything against my faith.

Because I'd been so careful not to expect a relationship to give me all my happiness, I was unprepared for how wonderful it actually felt. It wasn't perfect, but for a while and until it ended it was the happiest time I had ever experienced in my adult life. I had hoped that things would continue to go well, and that the relationship would lead to marriage.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. My ex broke it off last March. I was shattered but respected his decision. He is now in a happy new relationship, and despite copious prayer and struggles to heal and overcome the disappointment I am still deeply despondent and brokenhearted. My friends have been generous and supportive, but I miss my ex so much that many nights I come home from work and go straight to bed without eating just to avoid the pain of eating dinner alone. My birthday is in a couple of days, and I am acutely conscious that the chance of having children lessens every day.

I never, never, thought my life would turn out like this. I'm still a virgin at 35 -- all of my friends and siblings---none of whom waited for marriage for sex--nevertheless found good, moral spouses and are raising families.

I am so angry at God. I don't understand why He even allowed me to meet this man---I was managing my single life okay before I dated him. I wasn't exactly happy, but I was coping. Now I spend hours wracked with sorrow and guilt. I've gone over every misstep I made in the relationship. I still stupidly have these feelings for a person who no longer wants me and is now quite happy with someone else. I don't understand why God allowed me to happy for a little time, knowing the grief and pain it would ultimately cause. Having now experienced it, I can honestly state that it is NOT better to have loved and lost.

I had dated fairly regularly before I met my ex, and I've been dating since. I've never met anyone before where everything seemed to click like it did with my ex. I'm not even sure how or why it clicked, as he wasn't normally my type! I don't know how to shake these feelings I still have for him.

I have so little hope for my life. I have no calling to enter religious life, and have wanted marriage and a family since I was a girl. I cannot bear the thought of decades more of loneliness like these past fifteen years have been. I am scared of dying in a painful or violent manner, but I am so tired of living and have asked God to please take me soon.

I am receiving professional help, but it does nothing to soothe the spiritual anger and loss I feel. For anyone who has ever been in my shoes, what do I do?


#2

I'm not in your shoes but do know people who have been in your shoes, and your age and past, who finally met the most special person and even had children,
but my heart hurts at your sadness.

Please don't go to bed without dinner, lovely girl. Have it in a different routine, but please look after yourself.
My son was one of those whose heart broke over a girl who turned out not to love him even though she seemed like his dream come true. He never expected to find love again. I have had two text messages about how very happy they are, while on their second honeymoon. They are both a few years older than you.

Please don't give up hope, but you do need to look after yourself. Being heartbroken does affect you badly, and I know it feels like you won't recover, but I hope and pray for a better and a happy future where you are truly loved like my son is now.
I will pray for you. xo


#3

I somehow missed out saying who he was having his second honeymoon with. A girl he later met. He thought that would never happen.
Nor did she.
They can't get over how blessed they are to have found each other, after two years, now, since they first met

I hope this will happen for you.


#4

Antigone, I can so relate to your post. :hug3: I'm unmarried, and I'll be turning 43 in a couple of months.

In 2008, after a relationship ended for me in horrific "train wreck" fashion, I pretty much gave up my dreams of marriage. I was 39 at that time, and it seemed impossible that I would ever find someone. In fact, I couldn't even imagine trusting anyone again, even months after the breakup. The very thought of dating again made me sick to my stomach. So, I resigned myself to being a lifelong single.

God had other plans, though :)

Just a few weeks after my 40th birthday, I met a wonderful man whom I'm planning to marry later this year, God willing. He is the most honest and trustworthy man I've ever known, and every day I am so thankful for the blessing that he has been to me, right from the moment we met.

Please don't give up hope :) If someone as shy and introverted as me can find someone, there is truly hope for anyone! :D


#5

Hi Antigone,

I was sad to read your post, and empathised with you. There may be not much advise from most of us here as few of us are in your situation. Those of us who have married have had our problems, and sometimes very serious problems, but still our experience is different. You are also in the small number of Catholics who have been faithful and chaste through their adult life (which is a lonely road, but one you should be very proud of!!!).

I can understand (within my limitations) your confusion about "why did God give this to me, then take it away". I can apply this to myself more on behalf of my children, than myself. Despite the marital problems between myself and my ex-wife we maintained a happy home, and our children were happy and proud of their family. Life seemed to be at their best for them, with a new house and wonderful opportunities when it was all taken from them. I have often felt that it would have been easier for them if our family life had not been so good, and especially if the new house and opportunities had not arrived shortly before the separation. The children have even said so themselves. The emotional consequences lasted not just a few months, but years. The only thing that helps me is to remember that Jesus is my creator and Lord of my life, and theirs too, even if don't understand His will.

Hope that helps. I'm not sure if it is really of any consolation or relevance.

I recall that it has been said, once of twice in this forum, that a lost opportunity can be as painful as any other suffering.

I wish you the very best with all this, and have also responded to the prayer request you made last year.

Your post was beautiful, honest and deeply moving.

~ Edmundus


#6

The thing about life is that we never really know what will happen next....and you might be just about to meet the most wonderful man ever! Just when we hit bottom, it seems like God opens up all the mercy and showers us with it! So hand on!!!!!

I so agree with Edmundus! I am a middle aged woman and have also experienced the loss of a long term and very difficult marriage..... You are so wise and truly blessed to have waited to find someone who is truly compatible with you especially in spiritual ways.

By all standards you are very young. I delivered a wonderful baby when I was 39.....and there are some benefits to mothering at that age.....there is a certain maturity and confidence that you end up sharing with your children.

In the meantime, while you are awaiting to meet your love, please take extra care of yourself. Pamper and nurture yourself and get yourself ready for more happiness coming your way!
I will pray for you....


#7

Pray the Rosary every day.
Seriously.

This coming from a middle-aged single woman, never married,
peacefully decided to stop looking years ago.

As for you, if marriage is your vocation,
the Lord will make it happen, as they say.

As for eating dinner, sometimes I’ll admit
I get so busy with artist stuff after work
that I settle for quick, primitive meals …
But I have a good appetite
for both life and food … and am hoping that
so do you.

Praying for you,

:blessyou:


#8

[quote="antigone_nyc, post:1, topic:270338"]
Hello,

I would be grateful for some advice / spiritual direction.

I'm a single woman in her mid-thirties. I've been praying and searching for a partner for fifteen years.

He is now in a happy new relationship, and despite copious prayer and struggles to heal and overcome the disappointment I am still deeply despondent and brokenhearted.

I am so angry at God. I don't understand why He even allowed me to meet this man---I was managing my single life okay before I dated him.

I still stupidly have these feelings for a person who no longer wants me and is now quite happy with someone else.

I don't understand why God allowed me to happy for a little time, knowing the grief and pain it would ultimately cause. Having now experienced it, I can honestly state that it is NOT better to have loved and lost.

[/quote]

Having feelings for someone who was basically a good person isn't stupid. It's human. And if they were truly a good person, it is right that we admire and have feelings for them. Otherwise, if they weren't, why would you have been involved with them for 8 months? I'm sorry that ultimately, you weren't compatible long term. But believe me, it's far better to find that out now than after 21 years and 3 kids. I think it is better to recognize those feelings, acknowledge them as based on valid reasons, than to become a bitter person rewriting the past and casting that person as awful.

Next, as to spiritual direction-
-buy a motorcycle
-preferably a sportbike.
-Take a high-performance riding class.
-Ride it like you stole it.
Appreciate the feel, sound, skill you develop, every breath you take, heat rising off the pipes, smell of the exhaust-every bit of the experience. Thank God for your ability to experience it; that there will always be new things God has placed in life for you to find.

IF that doesn't appeal to you, find something that does. Something that you've been reluctant to try. SCUBA, sky diving, dancing classes, travel to an exotic locale. Whatever. Realize, that happiness comes from within us, not outside. And it starts with the ability to appreciate and enjoy every little thing. If you choose to wallow in misery, you will be miserable. Why would you be ready for God to take you away when there are things left in life to experience?

Keep praying. Keep dating. But stop 'searching'. Just meet people and get to know them, it seems the right one appears when you aren't searching.

You're angry like a lot of us. God is all powerful, yet doesn't appear to be helping with what's most important to us. It would be so easy for Him we think. Maybe it wasn't about you, maybe you needed to show that man something. Perhaps God needed you as part of His plan for that man, that couple. And God knew you were the right person to do that, that you were in fact strong enough, good enough, and obedient enough. And He showed you that men like that exist, they aren't like unicorns, He's shown you someone with qualities you will want in a life partner- part of the reason for dating to begin with- finding out those things you want, and those things you can't live with/tolerate.

God didn't allow you to be happy. You chose to be happy with what you had. You know what a relationship can be. Sorry you're going through the normal cycle of grief and pain. There can be a lot of that in life, and the more we focus on that instead of the good things in our lives, the more painful.

I believe strongly it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved. I don't have enough joyful moments in my life to wish away any of them. To regret or want to throw away any of the positive ones.

BTW, my wife of 21 years left me. Fortunately she left our three kids with me as well since she wanted to move in with an ex-fiancee from before we dated. So, I don't know, am I so awful that she wanted to leave? Or am I a good person since she was willing to entrust the kids to me? I do miss her, I do love her still, I don't regret it, I wouldn't have been with her 21 years if I thought she was awful.

However, your title refering to your ex being in a relationship concerns me. Because it should be irrelevant to you. What he's doing now shouldn't be something you focus on. Because his happiness or sadness doesn't really contribute or detract from your life--- unless you let it. Unless you focus on his life instead of your own.

Throw a pity party, make it a good one, get it out of your system and look for all the little things you can enjoy instead of obsessing on the negatives. Positive and negative thinking are habit patterns.


#9

Make a point of getting out into new groups and enjoying new experiences. Do things at a level in the out of doors where you are more likely to meet men. When I lived in Califormia, I joined the Sierra Club. Every week I went on a Sat hike. I got in good shape. One day I learned about a sinrra Club singles group south of San Fran in the Palo Alto area. I joined and went on a Sunday hike that started at noon. I met at least two eligible men I liked and ended up marrying one of them. Not until very recently did I realize one of the reasons I met him is that I was able to keep up with him on the hike, being in good condition because of all the previous hikes I had been on. I was 30 when I met him and 33 when I got married. I had my first child at 36 and second at 39 without any difficulties.

I backpacked with the Sierra Club also. On one trip I was the only woman, with about 10 single men. There was a very nice man on that trip who seemed interested in me. However, I was already seriously dating my husband (he was out of the country).

On the first Sierra Club hikes of the fall, there were always a lot of single women and many fewer men. On the next few hikes, the women would drop out, leaving the men.

There are a lot of organizations like this. Hiking, biking, skiing, social groups, your church.
You say that you are already dating again and had dated before, so you must be attractive.

There is a Jewish singles internet, but I don't know about a Catholic one. If so, you must be careful and insist on meeting people (for lunch or other safe non threatening venue) after a few emails. Pe0ple misrepresent themselves in many different ways, so you must circumvent this.


#10

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